|Learning About Computers and the Internet|
Here are some tips on making better use of Internet Explorer and ways to configure it to suit your personal preferences.
Open a Link in a New Window
Sometimes you may want to open a link in a window separate from the already open browser window. One way is to hold down the "Shift" key while clicking the link. Another method is to right-click the link and choose "Open in New Window" from the context menu. You can either click on the menu entry or use the keyboard and enter the letter "n".
Make Internet Explorer Open in the Window Size You Want
Periodically, Internet Explorer (IE) forgets the settings for its window size and decides to open in an annoying small window. If you close all other IE windows that might be open, resize the small window (do not maximize) and then close it, IE is supposed to remember that it was resized when you next open it. But sometimes it goes right ahead and opens in a small window again. In that case, there are several methods to try.
If you do not mind always having maximized IE windows, another approach is to edit the IE shortcut. Right-click on the shortcut that you use for IE and choose properties in the context menu. In the drop-down menu for "Run" select "Maximized". (Secondary IE windows will not inherit this setting).
procedure for controlling IE window size that anybody can use.
command. Enter the following into the IE Address Bar :
There are quite a few keyboard shortcuts for IE listed by Microsoft. However, few people will undertake to remember all of them. Still, it may be worthwhile to keep in mind any that could get regular use in your particular pattern of using IE. The table below lists some that I personally find useful. Two keys joined by a "plus" sign indicate that the keys are pressed at the same time. A key denoted by "F" and a number is one of the Function keys.
Returning to Where You Came From
Sometimes you want to go back to a page you visited recently. If the page is not too far back, you can left-click the Back button a few times. However, there is a faster way. Right-click the Back button and a list of your recently visited pages will be shown; you can then choose the one you want. Another way to open a list of your recently visited pages is to click the small triangle that sits between the Back and Forward buttons. If desired, a more extensive list of previously visited pages is in the History function.
Navigating with a Wheel Mouse
If you have a wheel mouse, you can navigate to previously visited pages by using the wheel. Hold down the "Shift" key and turn the wheel up or down to go forward or back. (Works in Firefox, also)
When the Back Button Doesn't Work
Sites that use a lot of frames and page redirects (Microsoft is a prominent example) may cause the back button not to function normally. However, opening a list of your recently visited pages as discussed above will normally let you go back to a previous page.
On the other hand, some sites just won’t let you go once you are there. They disable your browser’s Back and Exit functions. Either they will not let you leave or they redirect you to where they want you to go. See this reference for a very persistent but harmless example and some discussion. (Warning: it will take a number of clicks to close the window from this site,) For sites that trap you, the only way out may be to close IE with Taskmanager
Managing IE Favorites
Make IE Open Faster
"No home" option
If you prefer to avoid having to wait for your home page to load when you
open IE, you can edit the shortcut that you use to start IE. Right-click
on the shortcut that you use for IE and choose properties from the
context menu. In the entry by "Target", add the switch "-nohome" (without
A typical entry would then read :
Blank home page option
If you do not insist on always going to a particular home page whenever you open IE, you can use the "Blank" option in the menu Tools-Internet Options. In the Home page section there is a button "Use Blank"..
Check the Freshness of a Web Page's Content
Sometimes you like to know how up-to-date the contents of a Web page are.
In some cases authors put information about when a page
was updated at the bottom of the page but very often they do not. You can
While the page is being displayed, type and enter into the Address area:
Repairing or Reinstalling Internet Explorer
IE is bundled with the Windows XP operating system and cannot be removed. However, if IE becomes damaged or corrupted in some way, there is a procedure to repair it with a reinstallation. See this Microsoft reference for some details. The following procedure given by Doug Knox can be used (the Windows CD or I386 folder must be available). Go to Start-Run and enter the line below to run IE Setup:
Setting Font Sizes for Viewing Web Pages
If you find that the text on a Web page is too small to read comfortably, go to the IE menu entry, View-Text Size. There are five settings listed; choose the one best suited for you. If the font sizes have been set to specific pixel settings by the author of the page, this method does not work without an additional step. In that case, go to the Internet Options dialog box (first figure above) and click the button "Accessibility..." in the lower right corner. The dialog box shown below will open. Put a check by "ignore font sizes specified on Web pages".
Setting Font Styles for Viewing Web Pages
Some sites use serif fonts such as Times New Roman. These fonts are better for print but are harder to read on Web pages. If you wish a more Web friendly style of font, you can set IE to display pages using a sans serif font such as Arial. Use the accessibility settings dialog shown in the figure above and check "Ignore font styles specified on Web pages". To choose the font that will be used, go to the Internet Options dialog and click the button "Fonts..." The window shown in the figure below will open. Scroll to the desired font and click "OK".
Configuring Internet Explorer Security Settings
A detailed discussion of how to make Internet Explorer safer to use is given on several pages at our sister site Surf the Internet Safely . Specific settings for the various security zones are illustrated in detail.
Tips for Internet Explorer 7
IE7 has a number of new features as well as a somewhat different interface. Tips specific to using IE7 are given on the next page.
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